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Affiliation: University of Alberta, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

Dr. Michael Overduin is a Professor and CAIP Chair in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Alberta, and Executive Director of NANUC, the national NMR centre in Edmonton. His lab focuses on structural biology and the discovery of ligands of proteins involved in cell adhesion, signaling and endocytosis. The overall aim is the development of mechanistic understanding of cancer progression and the structure-aided design of novel agents for therapeutic intervention. He focuses on mechanisms of desmosomal attachment to the cytoskeletion, phosphoinositide recognition by signaling proteins, and emerging targets including oncogenic phosphatases and kinases and the RhoA-Lbc complex. Methods including NMR are being used and developed to identify unexploited interdomain, lipid binding and allosteric sites, with the end goal of providing new avenues for intervention. Technological contributions include a computational method (“MODA”) which predicts lipid binding surfaces on protein structure, and the Styrene Maleic Acid Lipid Particle (SMALP) system for detergent-free purification of native membrane proteins into stable, soluble nanoparticles. 

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